The Price of “Freedom”? US Drone Massacres Dozens of Afghan Farmers as They Slept

the-price-of-“freedom”?-us-drone-massacres-dozens-of-afghan-farmers-as-they-slept

19-09-19 07:23:00,

By Matt Agorist

Jalalabad, Afghanistan — Imagine for a moment that you had just finished a long day’s work with two hundred other farmers. You were settling down to relax for the night, when out of nowhere, Hellfire missiles rain down from drones in the sky and blow up dozens of your coworkers, maiming and tearing limbs from dozens more. Imagine if this happened inside the United States. Imagine the reaction from politicians and the US war machine looking to right this wrong.

Would you, as an American citizen sit idly back and accept the excuse given by the country who carried out that attack? Would you accept the wholesale slaughter of your fellow citizens by the dozen if the country who led the attack said it was a mistake and we did it to “help” you? What if it was one of your children killed in the attack? Or your brother, sister, father, mother, or grand parent? Would you simply accept that this slaughter was a mistake and the “help” you are receiving from this country is worth it?

Well, that is exactly what the United States is asking Afghanistan to do right now after a drone strike Wednesday night slaughtered 30 innocent civilian farmers as they rested from a long day’s work picking pine nuts. The attack also left 40 others maimed and mangled.

“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.

According to Reuters, a survivor of the drone strike said about 200 laborers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened.

“Some of us managed to escape, some were injured but many were killed,” said Juma Gul, a resident of northeastern Kunar province who had traveled along with laborers to harvest and shell pine nuts this week.

Naturally, the US is responding to the situation with a canned response and refusing to accept responsibility.

“U.S. forces conducted a drone strike against Da’esh (IS) terrorists in Nangarhar,” said Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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Europe Now Pays The Price Of The Anti-Assad Jihad: Where Will Foreign Fighters Go?

europe-now-pays-the-price-of-the-anti-assad-jihad-where-will-foreign-fighters-go

23-02-19 03:45:00,

Authored by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media

On Twitter, apparently the US president’s preferred forum to reveal foreign policy and state decisions, Donald Trump asked “Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS captured in Syria” from 44 countries. Otherwise, Trump will “release them” without specifying where and in which country. The US President is no longer ready to spend time waiting “for others (EU countries) to do their job”.

This is what the US establishment’s foreign policy and relationship with allies are all about. The US asked European, Canadian, Australian and Middle Eastern countries to send troops to Syria to “fight ISIS”. But before that, some years ago, the US asked European countries to allow potential jihadists to travel to Syria and Iraq, and for Saudi Arabia and Jordan to open their prisons and pardon core jihadists in order to reach their favorite destination, the Levant, to destroy the Syrian state and create a “failed state” scenario. 

Iraqi Counter Terrorism Intelligence unit conducting an identity check in Mosul. Image source: Reuters

But their wishes did not come true and President Bashar al-Assad didn’t fall in 3 to 6 months as predicted in 2011. Today the world is facing a new puzzle: what should be done with those the West helped reach Syria in order to terrorize, rape, and murder the people of Syria, who now want to return to their countries of origin? It is obvious the US establishment is unwilling to help Europe deal with their human refuse who joined ISIS at America’s request.

Up to now thousands of ISIS members have managed to return to Europe and much more to their Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries of origin. These are fighters, few formerly incarcerated in their countries of origin, who answered the call and reached Syria and Iraq with the help of western and allied intelligence services to wage jihad and join the Caliphate of an “Islamic State”.

They traveled to the Levant for various reasons: to join a family member, to join friends, love of adventure, the adrenaline of carrying weapons and killing,

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The Price Of Empire

the-price-of-empire

19-01-19 09:02:00,

Authored by Umair Haque via Eudaimonia & Co,

Why America and Britain Are Self-Destructing (And What the World Can Learn From it)

It’s a striking fact of today’s world that the two rich societies in shocking, swift, sharp decline are America and Britain. Nowhere else in the world, for example, are real income, life expectancy, happiness, and trust all plummeting, apart from maybe Venezuela (No, “but at least we’re not Venezuela!” is not the bar to aim for, my friends.) 

Their downfall is, of course, a self-inflicted catastrophe. But the interesting question is: why? And what does it tell us about what it takes to prosper and thrive in the 21st century, which is something that America and Britain clearly aren’t doing, and maybe aren’t capable of doing?

Here’s an equally curious observation. America and Britain aren’t just any countries. They are the former hegemons of the world’s most powerful empires. Britain, until the first half of the 20th century, and America, picking up where Britain left off. Is this just a strange cosmic coincidence — that it is the two greatest empires of the most recent past who are the ones seemingly most incapable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century? There aren’t coincidences that great, my friends. Such tides of history always whisper lessons to be learned. What is this one trying to urgently teach us?

That there is a price to empire. A grave and ruinous one. And that price has grown over the centuries  –  so high that now, it is not worth paying anymore.

Let me explain what I mean — because it is not just about spending too much money and grasping too high. Not at all. It is about the kind of a place and people such a country ends up limited to being — and perhaps can then never really easily outgrow.

To be a great empire, you must also be a certain kind of culture, society, place— a people with a certain set of values, a certain kind of attitudes. You must cherish control and prize possession over humanity and empathy and wisdom. You must value brutal competition above all else — and train your children to be little warriors,

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Global Oil Price Deflation 2018. The Drift Toward Global Recession is Underway – Global Research

global-oil-price-deflation-2018.-the-drift-toward-global-recession-is-underway-8211-global-research

19-11-18 12:08:00,

One of the key characteristics of the 2008-09 crash and its aftermath (i.e. chronic slow recovery in US and double and triple dip recessions in Europe and Japan) was a significant deflation in prices of global oil. After attaining well over $100 a barrel in 2007-08, crude oil prices plummeted, hitting a low of only $27 a barrel in January 2016. They slowly but steadily rose again in 2016-17 and peaked at about $80 a barrel this past summer 2018. Now the retreat has started once again, falling to a low of $55 in October and remain around $56 today, likely to fall further in 2019 now that Japan and Europe appear entering yet another recession and US growth almost certainly slowing significantly in 2019. With the potential for a US recession rising in late 2019 oil price deflation may continue into the near future. What will this mean for the global and US economies?

The critical question is what is the relationship between global oil price deflation, financial instability and crises, and recession–something mainstream economists don’t understand very well? Is the current rapid retreat of oil prices since August 2018 an indicator of more fundamental forces underway in the global and US economy? Will oil price deflation exacerbate, or even accelerate, the drift toward recession globally now underway? What about financial asset markets stability in general? What can be learned from the 2008 through 2015 experience?

In my 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’ and its chapter on deflation’s role in crises, I explained that oil is not just a commodity but, since the 1990s, has functioned as an important financial asset whose price affects other forms of financial assets (stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, etc.). Financial asset price volatility in general (bubbles and deflation) have a greater impact on the real economy than mainstream economists, who generally don’t understand financial markets and cycles, think. Hence they don’t understand how financial cycles interact with real business cycles. This applies as well to their understanding of oil prices as financial asset prices, not just commodity prices.

Oil Price Deflation Revisited 2018

Oil is a commodity whose price is determined by the interaction of supply and demand; but it is also a financial asset the price of which is determined by global finance capitalists’ speculation in oil futures markets and the competition between various forms of financial assets globally.

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Price tag of the ‘war on terror’ will top $6 trillion soon

price-tag-of-the-war-on-terror-will-top-6-trillion-soon

14-11-18 08:25:00,

WASHINGTON — The price tag of the ongoing “war on terror” in the Middle East will likely top $6 trillion next year, and will reach $7 trillion if the conflicts continue into the early 2020s, according to a new report out Wednesday.

The annual Costs of War project report, from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, puts the full taxpayer burden of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria over the last 17 years at several times higher than official Defense Department estimates, because it includes increases in Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs spending, as well as new military equipment and personnel.

“Because the nation has tended to focus its attention only on direct military spending, we have often discounted the larger budgetary costs of the post-9/11 wars, and therefore underestimated their greater budgetary and economic significance,” the new report states.

Direct military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan make up nearly $1.8 trillion in costs, but researchers estimate the long-term health care of veterans from those wars could equal or surpass that figure in coming decades.

They also charge that the Defense Department’s base budget has grown more than $900 billion over the last 17 years because of increased missions, recruiting costs and service member benefits brought on by the conflicts overseas.

“High costs in war and war-related spending pose a national security concern because they are unsustainable,” study author Neta Crawford said in the report. “The public would be better served by increased transparency and by the development of a comprehensive strategy to end the wars and deal with other urgent national security priorities.”

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She also blasted current U.S. national security policy as “no strategy to end the wars other than more of the same.”

About 23,000 U.S. and NATO forces are currently operating in Afghanistan in a non-combat, training-and-support role. About 14,000 of that group are American troops.

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Inadmissible Price Civilians keep Paying for Washington’s Military Presence in the Middle East | New Eastern Outlook

Inadmissible Price Civilians keep Paying for Washington’s Military Presence in the Middle East | New Eastern Outlook

10-06-18 08:44:00,

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Those armed conflicts across the Middle East that Washington organized and continues to sustain have been repeatedly condemned by the international media and various political figures, since they are associated with a massive civilian death toll that keeps rising over the years. Among those conflicts one can name the armed struggles in Syria in Iraq, where innocent local citizens get caught under stray bombs and shells.

Speaking about such incidents, there’s been a number of them in Syria recently. For instance, at least 8 civilians died under the bombs of the so-called US-led coalition in the Al-Hasakah Governorate on June 2 , including children and women.

Last February, the same so-called coalition launched a massive air strike against the cities of Hajin and al-Bahrah in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, which resulted in the death of 28 civilians. Later that month, a series of strikes against villages in the same Governorate, resulted in yet another 29 civilians killed, with over a hundred more people suffering wounds of varying degrees of intensity.

Over the course of that month, over a hundred of Syrian armed forced servicemen perished under American bombs, as it was reported by ABC with a special reference to unnamed sources in Washington.

Last April, the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) under the pressure of all sorts of media reports was forced to recognize that at least 883 civilians fell victims of the operations conducted by US Armed Forced in Syria and Iraq

The appalling humanitarian situation in the Syrian city of al-Raqqa, where a series of the US-led coalition air strikes resulted in almost complete destruction of all residential buildings, hospitals, mosques, schools, civilian infrastructure facilities has been of particular concern of the international community members lately. Under the mountains of debris produced by those strikes engineers are still finding corpses of perished civilians, while mines keep claiming lives on the daily basis. There’s a number of registered instances of international human law violations on the part of the US-led coalition that were committed in the course of liberation of this former ISIS stronghold. Among them is a deliberate bombing run against a residential school in the al-Mansour district, which resulted in the death of at least 150 people,

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